Media groups
Questions about foreign capital in media
quinta-feira, 26 de setembro de 2002 , 18h08 | POR REDAÇÃO

Article 222 of the Constitution was amended earlier this year to allow foreign investment in media organizations such as TV stations and newspapers. Nothing can happen until Congress passes enabling legislation, however. Particular attention will be paid to the rules for banks, pension funds and other institutional investors, including BNDES, the national development bank. So far the draft bills posted for public comment and review haven?t touched on this issue. Depending on the solution it may be possible to circumvent the restrictions on ownership of broadcasting licenses laid down over 30 years ago in Decree 236/67. The problem is that easing such restrictions just when the Brazilian Real is depreciating dramatically could throw open the floodgates to foreign capital and even domestic investors, undermining the constitutional safeguards placed on local control of content. Media organizations would welcome an influx of capital, of course, but everyone wants to respect the spirit in which the constitutional amendment was negotiated and passed with opposition support, including that of the Workers Party (PT). The core idea behind this negotiated solution was that the industry would be opened up in a carefully controlled manner. If Lula, the PT leader, becomes the next president the industry could get itself into trouble by failing to comply with the deal negotiated in Congress.


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